Summertime in my youth was always a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it meant no school, and long days of swimming, exploring the wash, daring each other to race our bikes without hands down The Big Hill, and endless sleepovers.
On the other hand, it meant that there wouldn’t be anything new or interesting on TV for at least four months.
Isn’t it strange, that as children we could watch the same episodes of Scooby Doo and Gilligan’s Island over and over again, and never get tired of them, but when summer showed up, and CHiPs went into re-runs, it was a major thing?
Maybe it’s just me.
So I hated re-runs. I always felt like the people making the shows were loafing, and I wanted my TV, dammit.
Then eMpTyVee came along, and gave me the attention span of a ferret, and I didn’t care any more.
Oh, this is totally unrelated to anything, but I have really nasty poison oak on my right arm, and the back of my left hand. I must have gotten it when I took Ryan geocaching last weekend. Yesterday, I scratched my arm so badly I made it bleed. I looked like I was from one of those scary movies about a guy who has poison oak and he scratches his arm so badly it bleeds. Scary!
Where was I? Ah. Reruns.
So I hated them. But, since I work primarily as a writer now, I understand that there are days, weeks, or even months, when you are just completely out of ideas.
This week has been like that. All of my creative energy is going to Arena, the ACME show, and getting ready for the sketch comedy show on the cruise.
But you know the cool thing about re-runs? If you didn’t watch every episode, the re-run would be what the geniuses at NBC called “New To You!” Meaning, of course, that they wouldn’t have to do any new work, and they could entertain a whole new group of people for free.
So guess what I’m doing today? Re-running an old weblog entry from August 27, 2001.
It’s a story that I really like to tell, and that I’d like to share with anyone who’s just showing up for the first time around here.
It’s the story of how my wife found our dog, and it’s called “Save Ferris.”
I’m listening to Cake right now. Have you noticed that Cake is one of those bands that evokes a visceral reaction in people? I mean, they either really, really love it, or they really, really hate it. I dunno, maybe it’s just me.
Here’s the story of Ferris:
My wife is the coolest, ever. You know that stupid corny hallmark-card thing about someone making you want to be a better person? Well, sorry, I like to be anti and all Emo and shit, but it’s true. I love my wife more than anything, and she really does make me want to be a better person. I could gush about her for pages here, but I’m not gonna. I am going to exercise restraint.
Oh, fuck that. I knew from the moment that I saw Anne that I would marry her. Isn’t that weird? Has that ever happened to someone who wasn’t in some godawful Nora Ephron movie? And the way we met…it was all timing. My best girlfriend, Stephanie, worked with Anne for YEARS, but she never introduced us…I mean, she even babysat Anne’s kids, at MY PARENT’S HOUSE when we were younger, and she never introduced me to Anne…because, when we look back at stuff, the timing was just all wrong. We weren’t ready to meet each other. But when we did, it was bootylicious.
Anne is beautiful. I mean, she is fucking hella rad.
I always joke that when we are out, people look at us and complain that there’s another hot babe with a geek. I say that I am Bob Goldthwait to her Nikki Cox, David Copperfield to her Claudia Schiffer, Sigfried to her Roy…I truly adore my wife, and that’s all I have to say about that.
One of the things I adore about her is how she has what Soul Coughing called “Boundless Love”. Anne works every day, takes her kids to school, picks them up, deals with their dad, and still has time to make me feel like I’m important in her life.
We have this fake dog poop that someone gave us a long time ago, and we have the game that we play, where we try to put the poop in each other’s stuff. Recently, I stuck it in the toe of her shoe, which was in her suitcase. She found it when she put her shoe on in Vegas. She put it in the exact middle of my bed, under the sheets, and it scared the hell out of me when I jumped into bed around 230 or something last week. My point is, my wife is cool, okay? Yesterday, when I was sobbing like a little bitch in our bedroom, she came in, sat next to me, put her arm around me, and just sat there, loving me. I could feel it. Then she gave me Kleenex, and told me that she’d leave me alone until I felt better.
So you need to know that to understand the story of Ferris.
Anne is a sucker for hard-luck cases, especially animals. One time a few years ago, she almost got hit on the freeway, because she saw a kitten running in the slow lane…so she stopped her car right there and got out to save the kitten, but it got hit by a car just before Anne could get to it, and Anne sat on the freeway, holding the kitten while it died in her hands.
She was fucked up about it for months.
So about 18 months ago, she and I are on our patio, and we hear this meowing coming from our garage. We both thought it was one of my cats, Biko or Sketch, (who are both inside cats, but occasionally get out), so we went to look…and out comes this skinny black cat with no tail. Anne immediately falls in love with him, and she takes him to the vet, to get him healthy again, while I make the “Found Cat” posters. Long story short: We thought he was going to die, the vet said he was just dehydrated, we got him shots, and Anne named him “Felix”. He has lived with us ever since, and he is one ot the coolest cats, ever.
Shortly after Felix came to live with us, a woman Anne works with told us about this guide dog she trained, who was also named Felix. She told us that Felix works for a guy up in Canada (and you can’t spell “runaway production” without Canada!), and Felix had been hit by a car, and they weren’t sure if he would be able to work as a guide dog any more. I guess when a service dog has to be retired, they give the person who trained that animal the right of first refusal as a place to live out their life, but Rita (Anne’s friend) lives in an apartment with her husband and young son. Not the best place for a 90 pound lab. So Rita asked her if Felix could come to live with us, and of course Anne said “yes”. Long story short: Felix was okay, and he’s still working with his guy in Canada. Which is great, because I can only imagine what the bond between service dog and owner must be like. I would just speculate that it’s similar to parent-child, and I always hoped that Felix would be able to stay with his guy. In the process of waiting to see if Felix would come live with us, we got on a list for guide dogs who flunk their final exam, because we have wanted a dog for AGES, and we thought that would be the best way to get one.
We are ADAMANTLY opposed to pet stores selling dogs and cats, by the way /soapbox.
Anyway, cut to Memorial day this year. We have no dog. Anne is taking the kids to Home Depot, so they can buy the materials necessary to make a grind rail (they’re all about the short boards. I’m all about the long boards. It makes for an interesting dynamic when we skate).
Funny aside: Ryan (12) and Nolan (10) were talking about how excited they were to get a grind rail, which they kept calling a “pole”. Nolan says to Ryan, “We TOTALLY have to get some grinding wax, Ryan!” Ryan replies, “Yeah, so we can wax our pole!”
Okay, so they’re leaving the Home Depot, and instead of going to the left, to get back to the freeway like they always do, Anne goes right, and passes this bus stop, where this tiny little dog is chewing on a t-shirt. Anne says that she felt compelled to stop and save her. So she did. As soon as she got out of the car, the dog ran into some Oleander bushes, and Anne spent close to 30 minutes getting her out, and took her to an Emergency vet, for some shots and to get the ticks out of her ears.
So Anne brings home this skinny, 27 pound, depressed little dog, and I must be totally honest, I was pissed. I was so mad that she had made this huge decision to take on the responsibility of a dog without consulting me. I mean, we have enough responsibilities already, you know? We really had it out. There was much gnashing of teeth, and Sir Robin soiled his armor. We finally agreed to keep her for a few days, and see how she was, and if she wasn’t any better, we’d take her to a shelter where they don’t euthanize the animals.
Well, the dog was terrified of me. She had CLEARLY been abused by a man, and she was terrified of men. “Great,” I thought, “I’m going to be responsible for a dog who never lets me pet her. Terriffic.”
And for the first 12 hours–wait, I know I’m not supposed to start a sentence with a conjunction. But I can’t spell for shit, so why are you complaining now? Jeeze. Get off my back, Mrs. Lee [9th grade english teacher who flunked me because she said I couldn't write. I win.]–for the first 12 hours, she sat by the side door, never moving, never eating, just looking depressed. But somehow, my amazing wife loved this dog enough, and totally turned her around. Within 12 hours she was wagging her entire body, eating, chasing a tennis ball, and generally acting like a dog. And she let me pet her, and started following me everywhere around our house.
So we decided to keep her. But she needed a name…and that was very important. I wanted to give her a name from Mythology…”Athena” or “Psyche” or something. I know, lame. Deal. The kids wanted to name her “Haley”, which didn’t work for me at ALL, because in high school I had the most painful crush on a girl named Haley who treated me like Duckie…so we decided that we’d try on different names for a few days, and the right one would reveal itself to us.
Anne comes home from work the next day, comes in the door, looks at me and says, “Ferris.”
“Sort of. Save Ferris!”
Okay, there is this band from OC that we LOVE called Save Ferris. They play with our friends fairview a lot. They rule.
Anne says, “Get it? Save Ferris. I totally saved Ferris!”
I looked at the dog, looked at her sweet, marble eyes and soft little puppy-fuzzy-head, and it was perfect. Not surprising, considering that it came from my wife.
So her name is “Ferris”.
Isn’t that a cool story?